Understanding the desired or target audience of your business is a crucial step in the development of every inbound marketing campaign. Remember, the point of inbound marketing is to connect with your visitors in an authentic way based on their interests or current challenges. But it’s also about providing those visitors with opportunities to engage with your brand through customized content and design.
But why is it important to target your prospects and research your audience, before building out your buyer persona?
Targeting Your Audience
What it means:
Traditionally, marketing was focused on flooding consumers with messaging and content in the hope that it would produce more sales. To help paint a picture, think of the opposite of shooting fish in a barrel. The problem with this approach is, you end up wasting money on prospects that were never going to buy your product in the first place. These methods were too diverse and marketers often spent more time and resources on low-yield prospects than qualified leads.
Today, inbound marketers are building campaigns around remarkable content, the kind that gets your persona excited. After all, if you’re selling life insurance, targeting college-age students isn’t going to produce any results—nor will creating an unhelpful piece of content that doesn’t solve a need for your visitor.
What you should be looking for:
Common behavior patterns
Shared challenges (professional and personal)
Shared goals, wishes, wants, and needs
General demographics and biographic information
Why it’s important:
Targeting your audience through buyer personas is a great way to increase engagement and visits to your site. In fact, websites that are built to target a brand’s primary persona are up to 5x more effective for users to index. Email campaigns that personalize based on the buyer persona (and contact information) also improve click-through rates by 16% and conversion rates by 10%. And ads that are targeted by persona behaviors are twice as effective as those that don’t. It’s not about getting your content in front of eyes—it’s about getting it in front of the right set of eyes.
Researching Your Audience
What it means:
Building a buyer persona with false information doesn’t help anyone. You need to provide the proper information to make sure your targeting the right audience—and this needs to be constantly tweaked as your persona evolves. But there are a couple of ways you can conduct research for your personas.
Asking the right questions is how you get those specific, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it details that can take your persona to the next level. By combining the above research methods and doubling down on every potential question, you’ll be able to build a quality, information-driven buyer persona that fits closely with your desired market. But the key here is quality, and in order to knock your persona out of the park, you need to be sure the research and information you’re putting down is both right and right now, as personas are constantly changing.
If you'd like to learn more about buyer personas and how they can help streamline your marketing campaigns for increased leads and sales, feel free to contact us with your comments or questions!
Matt Burke is a Content Marketing Specialist at Stratus Interactive, focused on providing clients with award-winning messaging that helps build brands and meet growth goals. See all Matt Burke's posts.